Treasure Hunt: Find your Scholarship Map

17 Feb

I could start off this blog with, “money makes the world go ’round,” but novelist Ayn Rand’s quote seems more fitting to the concept of money in college, “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”

With Rand’s quote in mind, my friends, I commence. By this point, we have driven into the gates of college. Some of us have scholarships to support us through the entire process, while others must resort to good ole’ loans. Whether you are one or the other, let me remind you of something: THERE ARE A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIPS OUT THERE… waiting…just waiting to be claimed!

Piggy Bank with college formula

Five bucks someone out there is thinking, “but I already have my costs covered, why the heck should I care to look for scholarships?” Well, person thinking such thought…because it’s FREE money!

Whether you are in NEED of money or just would like more of it, let me introduce you to my madness when it comes to scholarship scavenger hunting!

Let’s begin with a fundamental tool: Scholarship Universe

Scholarship Universe is by far the simplest, most organized method I’ve encountered to scour for scholarships. As a Wildcat, you have access to this handy tool with your NetID and password.  Scholarship Universe will squeeze you of personal information and match that information to scholarship qualifications. Once you complete your personal profile, it’ll  display all the scholarships you are eligible for, and their deadlines. Additionally, it’ll give you information on what’s required to apply for a matched scholarship, whether it’s just completing the application, or writing an essay and mailing transcripts.

Another method to find money: your college emails

Yes, I know, sometimes you just really don’t want to read them. Playing Flappy Bird Flappy_Bird logoseems like a more fitting use of your time, but trust me, OPEN THEM! Not only do those emails include notifications regarding important UA deadlines, they also have scholarship information that often pertains to students in your college (you!), or to the entire UA student population. Personally, I have been awarded scholarships from one of the colleges I belong to! It’s the real deal, everyone. Applying to these scholarships is a great idea for two reasons: 1) if college specific, the competition may already be less than usual and 2) just like you, some students will look the other way, which only increases your chances of getting it!

A third method for getting that extra loot: local organizations

These funding opportunities are a little trickier because they usually don’t come with a Nevada CCFD No 9 Return Envelope Back v3.inddbig sign alerting you of their existence! However, they’re out there, and it’s your duty as a fearless, investigative Wildcat to uncover them. normal_Wilbur

Usually what works for me is asking individuals I know who aren’t necessarily associated with the UA. For example, since high school, I have had a very strong connection with Rotarians, so sometimes I’ll ask if they’ve heard of any scholarships being offered to college students. Also, look into organizations that match your interests or demographic background. As a Hispanic student, I figured it would be a smart move to look into the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Luckily, they did offer scholarships, which I applied for and was fortunate to receive!

Lastly, GOOGLE IT UP!

We’re college students. We already spend massive amounts of hours glued to our laptops watching Vine videos, or whatever it is cool kids watch these days.

Personal_Rusty_Bump3r_Funny_gifs

Why not convert our downtime hours into a full-blown online search for scholarships? Whether you already have preferred online websites for scholarships (Fastweb, Cappex, etc.), or you’re barely starting, EXPLORE away. Google is a good beginner’s tool because you don’t have to be specific or know exactly what you’re looking for. Plus, it will expose you to new, maybe even better scholarship websites, or to exciting scholarships you’ve never heard of before.

Don’t forget, as Rand says, money isn’t everything, but it sure as heck can be a very powerful tool to get you “wherever you wish” to go!

Remember… the power is in your hands! If you wish you had more moolah, make it happen! At the end of the day, there are scholarships out there to help you finance your academic endeavors.

— Lucero Pesqueira

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